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Half-Life 2, what copy should I buy

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First post, by BeginnerGuy

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I can't use my hard copy of Half-Life 2 anymore, apparently I tied the key to a steam account ages ago but I have no recollection. Chances are in those days I would have just blindly lied about my e-mail address anyway.

I'd like to play the game in it's old state with EAX enabled, which they seem to have removed from the Steam version. So..

Was there ever a HL2 release that DIDN'T require steam right at installation (Mine was a later GOTY bundled with CSS and a couple others) ?

I skip right over ebay sales for opened copies because I'm quite sure if the game was ever played once, I'll never be able to install it again without cracking.

So would the only alternative be to somehow crack my old discs? I can try again XP machine disconnected from the net to see if that helps.

Also with Steam dropping XP support, it would seem a crack would be the only way to play HL2 at all ?

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Reply 1 of 20, by MusicallyInspired

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No. HL2 always required Steam. I bought the first Sierra boxed edition when it came out. You're out of luck. I made a Steam backup years ago on DVD with a version of HL2 that still had DX7.0 mode intact, but it would probably be upgraded automatically once I installed it and would be useless.

I don't know about all regions. I'm pretty sure they were all Steamworks releases, though. They were really pushing Steam at the time, even though it didn't work the best allegedly.

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Reply 2 of 20, by BeginnerGuy

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Thanks for the reply, this is kind of how I remembered it. I believe I purchased this copy in 2005.

I did re-buy the game on a new steam account years later but yeah.. I want to play on XP with an old patch. I guess that means there's only one ethically questionable route left I can take here 😜

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Reply 3 of 20, by leileilol

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Yeah, seeking out old retail HL2s will be moot. The data on the discs are encrypted and require online Steam access to decrypt+install and it'll always be the latest when you do. It's designed that way to prevent accidental leaks before the launch.
Don't know where these false "get non-steam retail versions they work xp !" rumors are coming from....

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Reply 4 of 20, by BeginnerGuy

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That's a real shame. I don't mind digital copies or in this case just downloading one since they give no alternative, but I do enjoy grabbing the boxed game to stare at in between play sessions. What are we supposed to collect now!!!

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Reply 8 of 20, by Cyberdyne

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Best bet is to use a pirated and hacked version 😁

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Reply 9 of 20, by dr.zeissler

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The collectors-edition should have no-steam. I am searching for that too.

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Reply 10 of 20, by appiah4

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There are ways to force Steam to install an older version of a game. You may be able to force it to install the initial release version and turn off updates.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Steam/comments/611h5 … s_of_a_game_on/

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Reply 12 of 20, by dr.zeissler

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never saw a early pirated Version that works...

Last edited by dr.zeissler on 2018-12-06, 15:41. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 13 of 20, by MusicallyInspired

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dr.zeissler wrote:

The collectors-edition should have no-steam. I am searching for that too.

Says who?

appiah4 wrote:

There are ways to force Steam to install an older version of a game. You may be able to force it to install the initial release version and turn off updates.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Steam/comments/611h5 … s_of_a_game_on/

Yeah, but I think it actually requires an earlier version of Steam. I don't think it functions at all with the latest version.

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Latest release: Heretic Music Pack (12/12/18)

Reply 14 of 20, by DosFreak

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Half-Life 2 doesn't require Steam once it's installed. You just need to use the switches. Verified with v2187 and the latest build yesterday. I don't see any option for EAX in the game.

What's funny is that the Valve Half-Life 1 engine games do require steam now whereas before they didn't. Verified yesterday. SmartSteamEmu works though.

Half-Life 2 (hl2.exe -game hl2)
Half-Life 2 Episode 1 (hl2.exe -game episodic)
Half-Life 2 Episode 2 (hl2.exe -game ep2)
Half-Life Source (hl2.exe -game hl1)
Half-Life 2 Lost Coast (hl2.exe -game lostcoast)

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Reply 15 of 20, by dr.zeissler

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MusicallyInspired wrote:
dr.zeissler wrote:

The collectors-edition should have no-steam. I am searching for that too.

Says who?

Phil @PhilsComputerlab.

Ask him

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Reply 16 of 20, by BeginnerGuy

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I was wrong about EAX. Just a glitch in my memory, HL1 has it and I believe I was confusing source engine with id tech 4 for Doom 3.

I will test out the smartsteamemu though, as we're at the end of XP support on steam.

Sup. I like computers. Are you a computer?

Reply 17 of 20, by DosFreak

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It works pretty good. Easy to install, configure and user. In most cases just put in the app id and you're done. If DLC then add the appid for those. The games that don't work usually need steamless, xliveless, exe crack (most often), or a different steam emulator. Just don't use it for HL2 since it's not needed (although you can if you want to centralize your games)

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Reply 19 of 20, by silikone

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I vaguely remember a reasonably trustworthy source claim that they used a tool to install the game directly from the disc instead of grabbing it off the internet. I really wish I knew more about it.

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